Memento mori.

I first heard that phrase in grad school. The professor was challenging us to consider that we’ve got a finite number of days on this earth, and that we should make the most of them. Psalm 90:12 reinforces this sober appeal: “So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

In the past few weeks, I’ve been reminded of our temporariness here. Like that jug of milk in my refrigerator, I’ve got an expiration date. And you do too. Every day there are new obituaries in our newspapers, listing the elderly and the young, the famous and the obscure. Each life loved by a parent, a spouse, a child, a friend. Their time has come to an end; they “have shuffled off this mortal coil” and moved on.

I confess that I do think about my untimely death sometimes, even though my wife doesn’t want to hear me admit that. I think about the day my two daughters will no longer be able to see their papa. I think of all the things left undone, the opportunities missed. And I’m reminded of two things: that death is an unfathomable tragedy, and that I must embrace today as a priceless gift from the Lord — a gift to be relished and a gift to be shared with others.

May we savor today, while being heartened by that day of hope when we finally see the Lord and our other loved ones face-to-face. May we live today in light of that day.

Memento mori. Remember that you too will die.

From the BoundlessLine blog.
Copyright 2007, Focus on the Family.
Used by permission.

Ted Slater
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